I was shooting at the Zoo with the EOS R5 and the RF 100-500, hand-held. One of the most elusive creatures is the Serval, a slender, medium-sized cat that stands 54–62 cm (21–24 in) at the shoulder and weighs 9–18 kg (20–40 lb). It is characterised by a small head, large ears, a golden-yellow to buff coat spotted and striped with black, and a short, black-tipped tail. The serval has the longest legs of any cat relative to its body size.
The serval is a solitary carnivore, native to sub-Saharan Africa and active both by day and at night. It preys on rodents, small birds, frogs, insects, and reptiles. It has amazingly strong hearing which makes it a challenge to shoot because it does not like noisy humans, so it tends to turn its large ears away. It also tends to hide most of the time behind obstructions, so it is relatively rare to see it out in the open.
On this occasion I spotted it hidden in the undergrowth, excellently camouflaged by its striped coat. Because of the intervening vegetation it was barely discernable, but the R5's animal eye tracking nailed it. I used single point focus, servo along with eye tracking, so that it seeks the smallest zone possible.
Here is the full image:
This is a heavily cropped version of the same image to give a close-up of the eye
Very nice. Thanks for the photo. I have read about them in books but never saw a photo. I guess this is due to its secretive nature.
They are found a lot across the grasslands of Africa, I believe. Definitely very reclusive. Mind you, if I was a small predator in the land of larger predators, and had super sensitive hearing, I might be wary of every sound too. Apparently they use the hearing to listen for rhodents and other small game moving in the grass and can even hear breathing, so at the zoo, when you get a large number of extremely raucous human kids, I can see why it hides - at times I am tempted to do the same!